Thursday, January 24, 2013

Are Kids Career Killers?

I wish I could take credit for that headline but, alas, it was the subject line in an email I received from the women's career site The Little Pink Book.

In a word, no.  I don't believe that's the case.  Since I had Jordan, exactly 15 months ago Thursday actually, I feel like I've become a better professional.  Granted I haven't gotten a promotion or received a raise, unfortunately, that's not quite the nature of my daily work.  But I have become more focused, targeted and, in my opinion, producing at a higher level. 

Why?

Well, for one, I'm not out drinking every night like I was in my pre-Jordan life.  Post-game cocktails are part of the job for many sports reporters and anchor, sorry.  Secondly, I'm uber-focused on creating a better life for her and my family and the creative juices to help get there are fueling me.  I'm also healthier, have a more optimistic attitude and have become a better friend, all while being a bit sleep-deprived.

But a line in a recent Elle Magazine article about Kelly Ripa struck me. 

"For many women, family is often at odds with a career...."

Why is that?  I get that my experience at this parenting thing is quite new.  I haven't fought with my daughter or had to leave work early to take care of her.   Regardless, why is it that in 2013 we are STILL saying these things and asking these questions?  Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer was criticized for taking a two-week maternity leave after the birth of her son.  Ridiculous!  NO man would be questioned about his time off from work to care for a child.  I get she's the mom and it's supposed to be different.  Really?  She can do whatever she wants.  Her son will be fine.  Probably better educated and cared for than 90% of us.

The expectations for working mothers to fit into some maternal mold is frustrating.  There is an automatic assumption that many women "will stop what they're doing and focus all of their attention on their children."  I am questioned why I don't do that every day and why I am still working.

The one thing I have learned is that every parent is different and handles parenting differently.  For me, I need to be busy and work.  It makes that time with my daughter SO much more precious.  I have friends who are stay at home moms who can't wait until they can hand off their kids to a sitter.  Is that child better off, with a mother who is anxiously counting down the seconds to get rid of the kid in favor of cocktail hour?

This is good dialog that could be discussed for hours.  My friend who has three children of her own, Tracy Kornet, and I tackle this and more in our latest edition of the Real Botox Diaries. 


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